Today’s digital landscape makes it harder for your insurance services to stand out.
The success of your business depends on the way you promote yourself to potential customers.
Since your expertise is about insurance, how can you market your business to find the right clients you can help?
You’ve probably discovered that you can’t count on the “spray and pray” method to produce quality results.
Effective marketing is strategic and well planned.
You can always hire someone to help with marketing.
But what if you’re not ready to make that investment?
Marketing Tips You Can Do
Here are some quick tips you can do immediately.
Create a Professional Website. Today’s online world makes a website essential. It is your online storefront and calling card that allows prospects to check you out. Even if your site is only one page, you need something online to showcase how you can help clients solve their need for insurance. A well-done website gives your business credibility while increasing brand recognition and building trust.
Write an Informative Email Signature. Adding an automated email signature allows prospects and customers to have your contact information. At a minimum, you want to include your name, website, phone, and email. You can use your auto signature to share links to your latest blog post (if you have one), a product offering you’re showcasing, and/or your social media accounts.
Volunteer Your Time. While time is money, one of the best ways to grow your business is by volunteering at local community events. When the events are covered in the local news – you can easily find your company listed as one of the volunteers. Volunteering also allows you to connect with community leaders and business owners who are ultimately potential customers.
Attend Networking Events. Just like volunteering, getting out into the community to make connections can go a long way. Attend local events held by your Chamber of Commerce and other professional organizations like Rotary. This is not a one and done approach. You do need to consistently invest your time and show up to be seen, noticed, and trusted.
Create a Branded Emergency Card. Business cards are inexpensive to create these days. Turn a business card into a wallet card that lists out key numbers to call in case of emergency. Make sure your agency name and number is in the list, along with the police, fire department, and animal hospital. Give these out to clients and prospects. Find local businesses that allow you to place a small stack of these cards out for their customers to take. Take this a step further by turning it into a refrigerator magnet you can give to every customer.
Set Up a Referral Program. Use an email marketing system to send out regular emails to your customers reminding them that you reward referrals. You can use the free version of MailChimp to do this quickly. Offer a $25 or $50 gift card for every referral that becomes your customer. Each email you send can promote your agency and reminding them you are there to help. Thank them for their business. Email your customers at least one time per month or more to provide useful tips, remind them about your referral program, and keep your willingness to help top-of-mind.
Form Helpful Partnerships. Strategically build partnerships with local organizations to bring your agency name top of mind. Consider connecting with any community entity that you can help, e.g., banks, churches, hospitals, realtors, fire, and police. Create a special offer or discount for each group’s staff or clients. Offer them free tips about how to avoid accidents (or any topic you can think of that is helpful. Let them post your info on their office bulletin board, company website, or in their email newsletter. Position your business as the agency that people are drawn to for helpful insurance insights.
While these seven marketing ideas are something you can quickly take action on, know that they are only the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of things you can do to market your agency.
Stay tuned when we share more marketing tips in future posts.
As an insurance agent or broker, you know that commercial auto insurance is for businesses of all sizes—large and small. Some companies are required to have it, while others are not.
Unfortunately, a lack of understanding about commercial auto insurance can raise questions for business owners. Do they really need it? What does it cover? Who is it for?
Fortunately, you can showcase your expertise when you are armed with the answers.
If you are scanning (like most of us do), know that this post is divided into two sections you can use:
- a downloadable Q&A you can share with your clients
- how we can help you find quotes
Check it out…
As an insurance veteran, you already understand why they may need commercial auto insurance. But when was the last time you had all this information written in one place?
We’ve done the work for you, by reviewing the possible questions your employer clients may have on their minds. Since our goal is to provide you with free resources that help your business grow, we put this into a downloadable PDF you can share with your employer clients.
Commercial Auto Basics
Getting the right type of coverage for your business is important—to you and to us. We know you are frequently asked about the difference between personal auto insurance and commercial auto coverage. So we put together this quick tip sheet to cover the basics about commercial auto insurance. First, let’s start with a few simple questions.
What is commercial auto insurance?
This type of insurance provides physical damage and liability coverage for vehicles used by your company.
What does this policy cover?
Commercial auto insurance covers cars, trucks, vans, and even large fleets used to help you conduct your business. This includes food trucks, work vans, and service utility vehicles.
Won’t my personal auto insurance work?
Personal auto insurance covers your personal automobile. While commercial auto insurance covers any vehicles you, or your employees, operate for business.
What types of vehicle usage could get by with personal auto insurance?
If you only use your auto to commute to the construction site or grab donuts for colleagues, you could be okay.
But it isn’t wise to risk it. When in doubt, ask your insurance agent to help guide you to make the decision that is right for you and your business.
What types of businesses typically need commercial auto insurance?
Any vehicle operation for business-related purposes needs commercial auto insurance. Note that there may be additional coverage needs for transporting passengers or hazardous materials.
The options are endless. Here are just a few examples:
- Auto parts distributors
- Commercial or residential contractors who offer things like plumbing, HVAC, roofing, etc. Food trucks and beverage services
- Miscellaneous retail or inspection services
- Pizza or other food delivery
- Service-related businesses
- Taxis or limos
Is commercial auto insurance required for all businesses?
Most states require all registered vehicles have liability insurance. Most states require the minimum insurance requirements on any vehicle. This rule applies to passenger and commercial vehicles.
Personal Auto vs. Commercial Auto: A Checklist
Since every business is different, your specific insurance needs varies based on your company’s unique situation.
While every insurance agent is the best person to walk business owners through the evaluation journey, everyone needs a starting point to frame the conversation. Here are some simple questions to consider:
- Do you use your vehicles for business more than three times per month?
- Do your employees use personal vehicles to conduct business?
- Is driving part of your job responsibility?
- Are your vehicles designed to haul things?
- Do you use your vehicle to transport people or property?
- Are your vehicles registered to a business?
If you answered yes to any one of the questions in the checklist, you might need to upgrade to a commercial auto policy. Email or call our office to schedule a time to discuss your business needs.
Expand Your Insurance Product Offerings
Providing insurance coverage to businesses opens up a world of opportunities for the types of products you sell.
At Syndicated, we focus on providing insurance brokers and agents the right solutions.
You know we offer workers’ comp products. But did you know we can help you find property, general liability, and commercial auto solutions, too?
With Syndicated you can:
- Access more than 150 markets and 40+ unique product options.
- Tap into more markets and get competitive quotes with our free service.
- Use our broker gateway to earn higher-than-industry-average commissions.
Bottom line: You have everything to gain when you sign up for a free account with Syndicated today.
You may already have a free account, but you want to talk to someone about your recent submission, alternative risk manage, or pay-as-you-go premiums. You can contact us here.
Every decision we make is driven by logic and emotion. This combination includes both conscious and subconscious thoughts.
Understanding your customers’ mental triggers can help you tap into their psyche and get them to say yes to the insurance program and service you’re offering them.
Before we unpack these tips, I need you to take the following oath: “I promise to only use these psychological triggers for good and to do no harm.” (Go ahead, hold your hand over your heart, repeat the oath. I’ll wait.)
Okay, now that we’ve settled that, let’s take a look five fundamental rules that can open doors, minds, and wallets. (There are more than five, but this should give you a good running start.)
These tips, when used correctly, help move prospects know, like and trust you while moving them through your sales process faster.
5 Mental Triggers You Can Easily Use
The five mental triggers you’ll want to focus on include building authority, anticipation, reciprocity and social proof. Let’s take a look at what each trigger type means and how you can do it in in your insurance business.
Authority occurs when you position your personal brand or insurance company as an expert for a specific industry or a particular service. For example, we specialize in finding workers’ comp policies for your hard-to-place clients. To demonstrate this expertise, we continue to create and offer free information, tools, and resources about selling workers’ comp insurance. Our knowledge and understanding about the topic of workers’ comp is one of the many ways we prove our authority in the space.
Your Turn: Consider writing a consistent blog or creating videos with tips about the area you specialize in. When you do this, you’re building your credibility as a thought-leader. (Tip: You can share the content and resources we create as your own, which saves you time and can make you look good.)
Anticipation is as American as apple pie. From sporting events like the Super Bowl or Final Four to the next new product Apple is going to release – the excitement and anticipation build.
Your Turn: You can do leverage anticipation in your insurance business by creating a campaign to build excitement about the next new product line you’re going to offer. Consider adding a “Coming Soon” page to introduce customers to new services well before the launch date. You may also want to handpick long-term customers to receive the new insurance product or service before anyone else.
You can also use the power of anticipation to map out and respond to any potential objections before they are asked. When you lead with answers to anticipated objections, you’re showing you understand the customer’s perspective. In turn, you build trust and confidence in your expertise. This approach makes it is easier for the sale to occur.
Reciprocity occurs when you offer customers something helpful and valuable. In turn, they feel obligated to give you something. This approach works because we tend to get uncomfortable when we feel like we owe someone something.
Your Turn: One way to create reciprocity is by reminding people what you’ve given them and specifically asking for something in return. Here’s an example: “Since I’ve given you this free checklist of workers’ comp questions, could you do me a favor and share this link with your friend socially?”
Scarcity occurs when a product or service is available in limited amounts. When people perceive something has a limited supply, it tends to make it more desirable and attractive. Scarcity works because of the fear of missing out phenomena.
Your Turn: Consider creating limited-time scarcity by focusing on the fact that there are only a few days left before the rates increase. Consider offering a discount or special offer to the first 10 people who sign up with you.
Social Proof conveys that buying insurance products from you is the safe thing to do. Social proof occurs on your website and through your social media channels.
Your Turn: One way to do this is to share your customer success stories. When you show prospects how others who have used your insurance services and experienced positive results, they are more likely to engage your services, too. Another way to do this is by listing the types of products and services you’ve sold. (You can find an example of how we do this here.)
What to You Can Do Next
Using these mental triggers create a subtle impact on the risk your customers perceive when they agree to buy insurance products and services from you. Applying these principles can increase your sales with yes responses.
Try one or all of these strategies with your business, and you are sure to see your sales grow.
While you’re at it, since I helped you out with these tips, can you please click one of the buttons below to share this article with your social channels. (See what I did there?!)
Your inbox probably looks like mine. It is jam-packed with requests from vendors, carriers, prospects, customers, and even competitors.
Trying to respond to all the emails in a timely fashion is overwhelming. Sometimes you’d like to ‘select all’ and hit ‘delete.’
Since doing so would quickly dry up your pipeline, you’re tempted to rapidly reply with short responses, or only reply to top priorities. (I know. I am, too.)
Today’s digital economy has raised the bar. Customers are online in a fast-paced world. They seek convenience, speed, and value.
If you want to stay relevant, you know must offer your customers a best of breed that uses the phone, email and other forms of technology to provide rapid, but thoughtful interactions.
Are you communicating clearly and doing things to ensure you retain existing customers while finding new ones?
There many things you can do to stand out from your competitors. Here’s a few you’re sure to have success adding to your daily routine.
It all focuses on evaluating things through the eyes of a caveman and passing the grunt test. Read on to see how you do…
Three Ways to Pass the Grunt Test
Let’s look at your website, emails, client education, and quoting process. As you walk through these exercises, think about how your competitors would do, too.
If a caveman looked at your website, would he be able to grunt what you offer, or would he be confused? (What about your competitors website?)
Donald Miller of StoryBrand suggests using the grunt test to review the copy on your website. In fact, he suggests that your site should answer three simple questions:
- What is your offer?
- How can you make their life better?
- What do they need to buy?
Before we go on to other ways to apply the grunt test, let’s pause for a moment.
Go look at your home page. Does your website answer those three questions? Does it pass the grunt test? If you answered no, you better stop reading now, so you can get your website fixed immediately.
Next, Let’s Look at Your Email Responses.
If someone read what you wrote in a quick response would they feel like you were just brushing them off? Or would they think that you genuinely cared to offer them the best customer service ever?
Like you, I receive email responses all the time. And it is really easy to see who put thought into what they write versus the person (or machine) that rapidly responds to my reply. Or worse yet, the person who never responds to my request.
Did you know that 98.4 percent of consumers check their email at least once a day? And 77 percent prefer [well-thought out emails] over today’s plug and play marketing automation systems.
Okay, I added the well-thought-out part to that statistic. But think about it for a minute. If your customers prefer email, shouldn’t what you write in that email pass the grunt test?
It may take you a second more to write out a thoughtful response. But the payoff is huge if you retain or gain a new customer. Right? (I bet your competitors aren’t doing this.)
One trick is to keep a template handy of the basics you want to include in your email replies. Then all you have to do is copy, paste and edit it to fit the response that is needed.
Apply This Approach to Your Talk Track, too.
Whenever you interact with your clients and prospects, do you look for ways to educate them about the importance of insurance coverage?
Does what you say about the insurance products and services you offer pass the grunt test? Is what you say simple to understand and jargon free?
Find ways to showcase your knowledge and expertise in every form of communication you send out via email, share via the phone, or say in person.
Or do you talk to impress using lingo that only other agents and brokers would understand?
You can increase loyalty by consistently providing value when you connect with others. In fact, one study found that loyal customers by 25 percent more insurance and deliver 250 percent referrals more than disgruntled ones.
Your Quoting Process
The grunt test can also be applied to your insurance quoting process.
Are you using archaic processes from days gone by? Are you dialing the various carriers and using a mix of market technology tools?
How’s waiting by the phone for replies to your requests working for you?
You can move beyond the caveman approach by using one platform that gives you access to more than 150 markets and 40+ unique product offerings for FREE.
Learn more and sign up today!
Now that you’ve read this far, you’re equipped with the same knowledge and information I possess. You now know how to pass the grunt test and stand out from your competitors. You are armed with some quick and easy tips that can help you grow your business.
When is now a good time to get started?
Imagine that you’re a prospective customer who needs workers’ comp insurance.
You’re searching Google looking for an insurance agent that offers the types of policies and services you need for your business.
You find several agents that look like they may have what you’re looking for, and you send each one the same email with a request.
The Story of Three Agents
Warm Welcome. One agent responds to your email inquiry immediately with a reply. He warmly thanks you for reaching out and lets you know that he will get back to you within the next 24 hours. In the interim, he sends information about their process for working with clients, so you know what to expect next. He also points you to a page with a Workers’ Comp checklist that has questions he should ask as you work together.
Unresponsive. Another agent never responds to your email request or phone calls for days or weeks. In fact, you start to wonder if you sent an email to the right address. When you call, you immediately go into a voicemail box but never receive a response.
Minimal Communications. The third agent you reached out to lets a couple of days go by before they send you a response. When they finally do, they merely point you to their website or a landing page. They don’t say anything more. This leaves you hanging wondering about the credibility of the agent.
Tough Questions to Answer
If you were the prospective client looking for help with insurance coverage, which one of the three agents listed above would you want to consider working with?
It is easy to see that the first agent had done a few simple steps to connect with the prospect and provide them with helpful information before they have even spoken.
The other two agent response examples show a lack of interest or consideration. If you were the prospective customer, you would mark them both off your list and focus on the first agent in a heartbeat.
Pause for a moment and think about the way you respond to your clients and prospects.
It can be tough to admit, but which of the three agents do you look most like?
Communicate and Connect with Customers
With any form of customer interaction, you can have success when you follow the age-old rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. Here are a few tips to consider.
Provide Timely, Personalized Responses: Today’s society is built on instant everything. We tend to look for immediate responses whenever we send an email. So how can you apply this? Give your prospects and customers a timely response that is personalized to them. Ensure they experience a connection and feel valued by you.
Write Clear and Concise Messages. We live in an age of sound-bite journalism. We all tend to scan the pages of things we see and read. From our emails to social posts and billboards—we all are guilty of scanning. So how can you overcome the scanning issue? Write clear and concise messages that are easy to understand.
Speak Your Client’s Language. It is easy to get caught up in insurance jargon or industry speak. Remember that your customers don’t have an insurance world dictionary to help them translate what you’re saying when you use buzzwords. Use easy-to-understand terminology and analogies without acronyms when you communicate. Doing so ensures your clients connect with you and what you have to offer.
Make Lists & Use Bullets. Writing a detailed paragraph takes up your valuable time. It also means the person you’re sending it to has to take time to unravel what you’ve written to determine how it applies to them. Consider writing short sentences. Make lists and use bullet points to make what you’ve written a quick read.
Give Calls to Action. Have you ever read through an email response and scratched your head wondering what to do next? Your client has, too. Make it easy on both of you by spelling out exactly what they need to do next. Give them a call to action.
These are just a few ways you can ensure you are effectively communicating and connecting with your clients and prospects. You can also apply this tips to every audience you reach out to – from vendors to carriers to customers and friends. Doing so consistently is sure to make a positive impact and create a win-win situation for everyone.
As an independent insurance broker or agent, you generate your “bread and butter” from selling insurance to small businesses. No matter what niche you serve, you can rest assured that current reports show a vibrant and healthy U.S. small business economy.
Your Growing Market: A Look at the Numbers
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently shared some compelling numbers about business growth in the United States. A quick look at these facts and figures shows that your target market is growing.
The May 2018 Detailed Industry Employment Analysis showed:
- Nonfarming employment in all major sectors and target classes continues to trend upwards (as of June 2018).
- These positive trending sectors include retail trade, education and health service, construction, professional and business services, transportation, private education and health services, and leisure and hospitality.
The 2018 Small Business Profile showed:
- Over 500,000 new businesses are started each month in the U.S.
- There are 30.2 million small businesses with 58.9 million employees.
- With 99.9% of US businesses classified as small, they provide jobs for 47.5% of the nation’s employees.
Translation: Your target market needs to hear about what you have to offer and how it can help them. Do the business owners you work with know what they may need?
Educate About Small Business Insurance Options
It is a fact that every business needs insurance. It is your job to educate prospects about the options they need to consider. Many owners are so laser-focused on the day-to-day operations that they forget about easy ways to protect their assets.
Here is an FAQ you can share with your customers to quickly spell out the big picture. (Download a free PDF you can share with prospects.)
What types of insurance should small businesses consider securing?
Every business should evaluate general liability, workers’ compensation, property insurance, professional liability, and a business owner’s policy at a minimum. There are many other types of policies that your agent can discuss with you.
Just make sure you evaluate the options so you can intelligently discuss what works best for their particular business with their insurance agent or broker.
At the very least, every business owner needs general liability and property insurance. Most states require workers’ comp if you have people working for you.
What is general liability insurance and what does it cover?
General liability protects your business by covering the costs of third-party bodily injury and property damage claims made against your company, as well as advertising injury and reputation harm. This policy can cover expenses for legal teams to represent your small business, as well as evidence costs and settlements. While it is not required by law, it provides you with the financial wherewithal to survive a liability claim that someone files against your business.
What does workers’ compensation insurance cover?
Most state laws require employers to carry workers’ comp in case employees are hurt on the job. While the mandates for this policy vary by state, workers’ comp protects both the workers and the employer. Some states consider contractors employees that need workers’ comp coverage. This policy covers expenses resulting from an employee’s work-related injury or illness. From lost wages to medical expenses and legal fees for lawsuits, this policy is a win-win for the business owner and employee when the time comes to file a claim.
What is property insurance for business?
Whether you lease or own your building, or even work out of your home — business pottery insurance protects your company’s physical assets from disasters like theft, fire, explosions, and storms. Whatever you need to run your business—computers, documents, equipment, inventory, and even fencing—property insurance is designed to cover lost, stolen and damaged property, and even loss of income from that property damage.
What is professional liability insurance?
While General Liability covers your business when a third-party sues your business over bodily injury or damage, Professional Liability is more like malpractice insurance. This type of insurance is designed for people who make a living off of their expertise. This policy kicks in when a third-party sues you for providing negligent professional services, not upholding contractual promises, providing incomplete work, or making mistakes.
What is a business owner’s policy (BOP)?
In layman’s terms, BOP insurance is an affordable insurance package that bundles together liability and property insurance. Your agent can walk you the options that make the most sense for your particular situation.
Can professional liability and general liability policies cover the same claims?
No. The policies cover different types of liabilities and risk exposures. General liability focuses on physical damages, while professional liability covers third-party financial losses.
Do I need both property and liability insurance?
The policies are designed to protect a small business with coverage that includes:
- liability coverage from interacting with the public, and
- damage or loss to physical assets the business relies on for conducting business.
What happens if I don’t have business insurance?
Insurance is protection for the future. No one knows when an accident, lawsuit or disaster may strike.
Here are two facts to consider:
- Dependent upon the products and services you provide, most clients seek to work with businesses that have coverage for losses that may occur as a result of your work.
- The majority of states require workers’ compensation insurance for businesses that have people who work for them. (Some states even consider contractors as employees, which requires workers’ comp coverage.)
The benefits of business insurance are bigger than the costs. Why leave the future of your business to chance?
Download this FAQ as a free PDF you can share with your prospective clients now.
Download Small Business Insurance FAQs